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PhD Committee

Doctorate at TU Dortmund University

  • First, please read the listed steps and the FAQ carefully!

  • Any correspondence (e.g. applications mentioned below) should be sent to the following address:

    TU Dortmund University Dean's Office of the Department of Computer Science Otto-Hahn-Str. 14 44227 Dortmund Attn:the chairperson of the doctoral committee.

  • All emails to the PhD Committee should be sent to the following address:


  • Are the requirements for a doctorate fulfilled? Please refer to §4 Prerequisites for Admission to Doctoral Studies of the Doctoral Regulations.

  • In any case, the doctoral regulations including the associated amendment regulations are authoritative and binding! This document is only a simplified summary and assistance.

In 7 steps to a doctorate

If the decision has been made to do a doctorate at the Department of Computer Science, it is necessary to answer the following questions, among others, in advance:

  • In which department / at which chair do I want to do my doctorate?
  • Is the professor in charge willing to supervise my doctorate?
  • Which doctoral degree am I aiming for? Possible doctoral degrees are "Dr. rer nat." or "Dr.-Ing.
  • Which university teacher do I propose as a mentor?

The doctoral program is composed of the following content:

An application for admission to the doctoral program must be submitted to the doctoral committee by means of an official cover letter. The application must include the following documents (see §5 Application for Admission to the Doctoral Procedure of the Doctoral Regulations):

  • Application letter (template as LaTeX, PDF)
    • intended doctoral degree
    • proposal of a supervisor for the dissertation
    • preliminary working title of the dissertation (in consultation with the supervisor)
    • proposal of a mentor regarding the structured doctoral program
    • List of further documents
  • Confirmation of willingness to supervise
  • Proof of admission requirements (according to §4 Requirements for admission to doctoral studies of the doctoral regulations)
  • Proof of university entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur)
  • Curriculum vitae in tabular form (showing your scientific and professional career)
  • Explanations about other doctoral procedures, i.e. if already...
    • a doctoral procedure has been applied for, completed or discontinued at TU Dortmund University
    • a doctoral degree has been awarded elsewhere and a doctoral procedure is in progress
    • a doctoral procedure has been discontinued or completed elsewhere (indicate the success of the doctoral procedure).

If the application has been approved, there is an obligation to submit proof of enrollment to the doctoral committee within three weeks of admission. To obtain this, you must...

Afterwards you are officially a doctoral student at the Faculty of Computer Science at TU Dortmund University!

Of course, the major part of the doctorate consists of working out one's thesis topic scientifically and putting it down in writing in the form of a dissertation (according to §10 Dissertation of the Doctoral Regulations). The doctoral candidate still has additional obligations to fulfill:

  • to report once a year to the supervisor about the previous and planned activities (according to §7 Supervision of the Doctoral Regulations)
  • Participation in the structured doctoral program (according to §5 reports of the guideline for the structured doctoral program).
    • annual two-page report documenting the scientific process of the past year and presenting the scientific plans for the following year
    • the report is discussed together with the mentor and the supervisor
    • the result of the discussions and the report are archived at the doctoral committee.

In addition, doctoral candidates are recommended to participate in a subject-specific conference (summer school or similar) during the first 12 months of the doctoral program (according to §6 Events of the Guideline for the Structured Doctoral Program).

At the end of the three years, the candidate applies for an extension of his/her doctoral studies. The exact length(maximum 3 years) is to be confirmed by the doctoral supervisor.

Once the dissertation is completed, the doctorate is nearing its end. In order to complete it, an application for acceptance of the dissertation must be submitted. The application must include the following documents (according to §11 Application for Acceptance of Dissertation and Submission of Dissertation of the Doctoral Regulations):

  • written cover letter to the doctoral committee (template as LaTeX, PDF)
  • 5 bound copies of the dissertation and one digital version in PDF format
  • summary of the dissertation not exceeding two DIN A4 pages (template as LaTeX, PDF)
  • affidavit about used aids, etc. (template as LaTeX, PDF)
  • Declaration about already happened, other submission of the dissertation (template as LaTeX, PDF)
  • Proof of successful participation in the structured doctoral program
  • current curriculum vitae showing the scientific career, including a current list of publications
  • Proposal for the appointment of the examination committee (template as LaTeX, PDF)

The doctoral committee opens the doctoral procedure when a written application for acceptance of the dissertation and the documents to be submitted with it are complete (see §12 Opening of the doctoral procedure and appointment of reviewers of the doctoral regulations). The evaluation of the doctoral performance (dissertation and oral examination) should be completed no later than six months after submission of the dissertation (§67 para. 3 p. 3 HG).

The doctoral committee appoints two reviewers who independently evaluate the dissertation within eight weeks. In the reviews, the rejection, revision or acceptance of the dissertation is proposed. If acceptance is unanimously proposed, the dissertation is made available for inspection by the faculty for seven days, together with the reviewers' reports. If there is no objection within three days thereafter, the dissertation is considered accepted (see §14 Review of the Dissertation of the Doctoral Regulations).

Furthermore, the doctoral committee appoints an examination board, which usually consists of a chairperson and three members. The tasks of the examination board are (see §13 Examination Board of the Doctoral Regulations):

  • Decision on acceptance or rejection of the dissertation and its grading on the basis of the expert reports
  • Conducting and grading the oral examination
  • Determination of the overall result and the doctoral degree to be awarded
  • Determining whether the dissertation is ready for printing and imposing conditions for its publication.

After acceptance of the dissertation by the examination committee, the committee will conduct the oral examination within six weeks. The oral examination usually lasts a total of 90 minutes and begins with a report by the doctoral candidate on the dissertation, which should not exceed 30 minutes. It is open to the faculty and usually takes place in the language in which the dissertation was written, although German and English are generally accepted (see §15 Oral Exam ination of the Doctoral Regulations).

Immediately afterwards, the examination board determines both the grade for the oral examination and the overall grade and the doctoral degree to be awarded in case of success. Particular emphasis is placed on the evaluation of the dissertation. In addition, it is common for the doctoral candidate to be given a number of requirements for the revision and publication of the dissertation (see §16 Result of Examinations of the Doctoral Regulations).

As soon as the last doctoral examination has been completed, a doctoral certificate is issued on the date of the successfully passed oral examination, which confers the right to use the doctoral degree (see §19 Completion of the doctoral examination procedure of the doctoral regulations).

After successful oral examination and the receipt of the doctoral degree, the then doctoral candidate is obliged to implement the amendment requirements of the examination committee within one year and to publish and disseminate the dissertation appropriately (see §18 Publication of the dissertation of the doctoral regulations). The amended version of the dissertation is again submitted to the examination board for review.

In order to publish the dissertation appropriately, three copies are to be given to the university library free of charge for archiving. These copies must be printed on non-aging wood-free and acid-free paper and bound in a durable binding.

Ensuring dissemination of the dissertation is possible through various means. The easiest way is to provide the university library with a digital version of the thesis along with the printed copies. Furthermore, it must be granted the right to produce further copies in print and to make the digital version available in data networks.

How can I do a doctorate? What is the procedure?

Read this page carefully and then the doctoral regulations!

If you still have questions, contact the doctoral committee!

Who is the supervisor?

After admission to the doctoral program, the doctoral committee appoints a university teacher or a habilitated member of the department as supervisor of the dissertation upon proposal of the doctoral candidate (see §7 Supervision of the Doctoral Regulations).

The duties of the supervisor include:

  • to discuss a schedule for the preparation of the dissertation and to agree on the structured doctoral program
  • to be informed regularly about the progress and to give expert advice in case of difficulties that arise
  • to comment comprehensively on delivered contributions in oral or written form.


Who is the mentor?

Each doctoral candidate will be assigned a professor from the department as a mentor who will not be involved in the review of the dissertation(!) and will provide general advice (see §4 Mentoring of the Guideline for the Structured Doctoral Program)).

She/he is supposed to watch the progress of the PhD project with an independent point of view and especially to give assistance in focusing on a topic.

What is the role of the doctoral committee?

The doctoral committee of the Department of Computer Science decides on admissions to the doctoral program, opens the doctoral procedures, appoints the reviewers and the examination boards, sets deadlines and dates, and decides on special cases and appeals in doctoral procedures (see here).

Who are the reviewers of my dissertation?

With the opening of the doctoral procedure, the doctoral committee appoints two reviewers, whereby suggestions made by the doctoral candidate can be taken into consideration. At least one of the supervisors is appointed as a reviewer. One of the reviewers must be a university lecturer or habilitated member of the faculty. The other reviewer must also be a university lecturer or habilitated member of a German or foreign university with the right to award doctoral degrees (see §12 Opening of the doctoral procedure and appointment of review ers of the doctoral regulations).

Who is the examination board?

After the opening of the doctoral examination procedure, the doctoral committee appoints an examination board, which usually consists of the chairperson and three other members. All members of the examination board must belong to the group of university professors or to the habilitated members of the group of academic staff. The chairperson may neither be a reviewer nor a supervisor. The supervisor should be a member of the examination board. The examination board may include external members from domestic and foreign universities (see §13 Examination Board of the Doctoral Regulations).

How can foreign academic achievements be credited?

The International Office is responsible for the recognition of foreign academic achievements.

How do I receive a bilingual doctoral certificate?

A bilingual doctoral certificate must be requested in the cover letter to the application for acceptance of the dissertation. A corresponding office for the preparation of the certificate is currently being established!